Lambretta - Lambretta FD 125
1954 Lambretta FD 125
Although an FA model was shown in the first brochures, this model was actually put into production, certainly some were made for evaluation purposes, but the first model you could actually purchase off the production line from Innocenti was this the FB.
The FB was launched just a few months after the two wheeled scooter, the Model B, the carrying section on these models was at the front, leaving the rear scooter section as normal therfore saving on production costs.
Three versions of box were offered on the FB, wooden box, aluminium compartment, or an open wooden box, all fitted with an exposed single headlight at the front which could be easily broken while parking. The front wheels of the FB turned, while the carring compartment stayed straight using a parallelogram shaped system similar to cars of the day.
The 125cc engine toped out at a maximum speed of just over 30mph (45kmh) and could cope with loads of up to 200kg, while ideal load carrying over distances, the small "van" was just enough around town.
To improve engine cooling, an air duct was mounted above the flywheel which sent air to the cylinder via an aluminum spiraled vent. All three drum brakes were operated by a single brake pedal, equiped with a gear to compensate for the three wheels, making the brakes operate on all three wheels at the same time.
Innocenti had a six month break with producing three wheeled scooters, this allowed them time to sell off the stock of remaining FB models they still had. When the FC came along it used the newer mechanicals from the C & LC scooters, whilst many of the components were improved over the old FB, top speed did not really increase
The general structure and layout of the FC stayed the same as the FB, although a new hydraulic braking system help matters when trying to stop. The rear part of the three wheeler was borrowed from the C model, whilst the running gear and cowlings were taken from the LC.
Three versions of box were offered on the FC as with the FB, but you could also purchase the scooter as a chassis only option. Wooden box, aluminium compartment, or an open wooden box, although the single headlight at the front had now been moved to the top of the box, to stop it getting broken while parking as with the earlier models.
Wheel size was increased to 4 inches, to aid and improve stability, but even this model of three wheeled Lambretta did not sell as well as Lambretta had hoped for.
The most important change on the new FD models was moving the load carrying compartments to the rear of the vehicle, a single wheel was now at the front with the load carrying two wheels at the rear.
The front end of the FD was taken directly from the D model of scooter, the frame was made up by a single large section of tubing which was attached through various welds to some rectangular tubes to make the base of the load carrying section.
Now the mechanicals of the new design could not drive the rear wheel directly, a new transmission was designed which used a shaft, differential and two axles to move the scooter along.
The 125cc engine still did not gain much power the prevoius models, top speed toped out at a maximum speed of just over 30mph (45kmh). Front drum brake was operated from the lever on the handle bars, whilst the two rear brakes we operated by a hydrualic set up.
Still Innocenti did not really improve on the options you could order the FD in, chassis only, wooden box, ali box and wooden pick-up. The wooden pick up model was the most popular choice, probably due to its lowest cost and its varity of uses. The chassis only option was also popular with people out side suppliers of different options, and finally the 125 FD became opposition to the lucrative market share held by the Piaggio's Ape and Guzzi the wheelers.
Imporoved performance came with the new 150FD model, meaning more speed but more importantly improved load carrying. Front suspension was also reinforced, although rear bascically stayed the same. In four years of production the FD's did recieve some modifications during production, starters were improved along side the LD/D models improvements, wheel nuts and studs increased for better saftey.